San Antonio-area farmers markets are so much more than fresh produce and ranch-raised meat. You can get plenty of hot food, a fresh cup of coffee, sweet treats, baked breads, meats and several unique food items that you may not even have known existed.
In other words, there are a lot of options, so I visited four of the area’s best farmers markets — New Braunfels Farmers Market, Alamo Heights Farmers Market, Pearl Farmers Market and the Huebner Oaks Farmers Market — the past two weeks, checking out more than 100 different food-related booths to compile a list of the 10 best stalls with insider tips to ensure you get the most from your farmers market visit.
Fresh strawberries are available at the 9-1 Produce Farm
Chuck Blount /Staff
Alamo Heights Farmers Market
9-1 Produce Farm: I have nicknamed farmer Fernando Vasquez “Mr. Reliable.” It hasn’t caught on yet, but you can always count on Vasquez to have some of the best produce in season every Sunday. The vegetables are so fresh, you can still smell the dirt from his Devine farm, and there’s no resisting those radiant red strawberries.
READ ALSO: The San Antonio-area Farmers Market Guide
If you aren’t sure about something, or have never tried it, he’ll cut off a piece and let you sample it first. Also, if you get there near closing time, he may add a little extra to your purchase so he doesn’t have to truck it home. No online presence
Lucky Dog Bakery & Boutique: Dogs are encouraged at the area markets, and Lucky Dog is the place your pooch will sniff out. It carries pig ears, salmon skin roll-ups, dried chicken feet, caveman-size beef bones, peanut butter snacks, cookies and treats with fancy flavors like chicken lentil and banana honey that will tempt any human to sample, too.
All dogs get a complimentary snack when they visit the stall. Lucky Dog also has a booth every Saturday at Huebner Oaks Farmers Market. Facebook: @Luckydogbakery
Alamo Heights Farmers Market: 255 E. Basse Road in the Alamo Quarry Market parking lot, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays. Facebook: @AlamoHeightsFarmersMarket
On ExpressNews.com: Your guide to 5 great meat markets in and around San Antonio
A crème brûlée beignet is one of many featured pastries available at The Beignet Stand at the Pearl.
The Beignet Stand
Huebner Oaks Farmers Market
The Baked Bird: The process to get a bounty of sweet treats to the market every Saturday starts on Wednesday when the husband and wife team of Matt and Jenn Zdeb start baking in their kitchen. From sweet rolls to coffee cakes and everything in between, it’s a temple of sugar.
Do yourself a favor and get the maple pecan bars, which taste just like the pie but without the mess. Don’t be shy about the samples, either, as Jenn wants customers to try as much of her inventory as possible. Facebook: @thebakedbirdSA
MoJo Jerky: Beef jerky is great, but it’s all still beef. MoJo is breaking out of the beef box by making jerky from such unusual meats as elk, buffalo and alligator. It even carries a Buffalo wing-flavored chicken jerky.
And bonus, stogie lovers: Owner Joe Elkhal also stocks an inventory of fine cigars for sale. Online: MoJoJerky.com
The Pastry Corner: Sean and Samantha Penner bake the fresh breads they take to the market out of their Selma kitchen. They are looking to open their own brick and mortar bakery in Cibolo this year.
There is a large lineup of sourdough — Samantha said that they have been using the same sourdough starter for more than three years — focaccia, challah and traditional breads. You can also grab some freshly made cookies, croissants and scones. Facebook: @thepastrycornertx
Swiss Chocolate Shoppe: Every Saturday, Matt and Nicole Willis bring a little bit of Swiss flavor to Huebner Oaks. They get their chocolate imported from Switzerland after Matt negotiated a deal while he was there for an athletic competition. They then temper the chocolate and mold into an assortment of bars and truffles.
One of the chocolates they use, called the Maracaibo, took first place in an Italian pastry chefs competition. It’s rich and fancy, and tastes, well, rich and fancy. All the chocolates are available to taste, but you have to ask as they have to keep them hidden from the San Antonio heat. Facebook: @SwissChocolateShoppe
Huebner Oaks Farmers Market: 11745 W. Interstate 10, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. Facebook: @huebneroaksfarmersmarket
MoJo Jerky has traditional beef jerky, but also has jerky made from exotic meats like alligator.
Chuck Blount /Staff
New Braunfels Farmers Market
Nut Monkey: Just the sight of the large sign of the monkey wearing aviation gear will draw you to owner Amy Reynolds’ booth. She makes and sells a spreadable, dairy-free cashew cheese that can be treated like a cream cheese or a hummus, and it is so good.
Reynolds sells it in a variety of flavors like Sriracha rosemary, shallot and chive and everything bagel, but she still recommends her base blend. It’s delicious, loaded with hits of garlic and tart blasts of lemon juice. Facebook: @nutmonkeycheese
Pure Pastures: This Canyon Lake ranch has perhaps the largest meat selection in the market scene — all from animals raised on Maggie and Jeremiah Eubank’s farm. Beef is sold in variety of cuts, from filet mignon and tenderloins all the way down to stock bones. Every possible pork and lamb cut is available, too, as well as pasture-raised eggs.
Get to them early because the bacon and steaks go fast. And if they are sold out of any particular cut, let them know, and they will try to reserve it for you the following week. Pure Pastures also has a stall Saturday at the Pearl Farmers Market. Facebook: @purepasturestx
New Braunfels Farmers Market: 186 S. Castell Ave., 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. Facebook: @newbraunfelsfarmersmarket .
The Pastry Corner features freshly baked breads.
Chuck Blount /Staff
Pearl Farmers Market
The Beignet Stand: Located near Cured at the Pearl, chef Michael Grimes and his wife Elisa Treviño sell their piping hot Louisiana-style pastries loaded with plenty of powdered sugar and creativity every Saturday and Sunday. Each week, Grimes offers a new beignet flavor that he’s never done before, and he said he’s currently on a streak that exceeds 300. When he reaches 365, he may either reset the clock or keep on going to 500. Facebook: @The-Beignet-Stand
Texas Black Gold Garlic: The power of the black gold is preached loudly at this stall on Saturdays and Sundays. Black garlic, aged in a controlled environment for weeks, tastes as sweet as candy, yet it keeps its garlic notes.
The garlic is is sold whole and in rubs, sauces and purees. And if you happen to grow traditional garlic, let owner Stephen Paprocki know because he would love to buy it from you. (Note: Also available at the New Braunfels Farmers Market on Saturdays) Facebook: @TexasBlackGoldGarlic
Pearl Farmers Market: 312 Pearl Parkway, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays. Facebook: @pearlfarmersmarket
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